You can’t move for craft gin these days, but gin without tonic is like winter without Christmas. Cheers then to Aberdeenshire-based Summerhouse Drinks, who have just expanded their range of Walter Gregor’s tonic water with four new offerings, including Scottish raspberry and an autumnal apple and cinnamon flavour. In Glasgow’s East End, it’s all about the brew. Fermented tea specialist Clever Kombucha have teamed up with Dear Green Coffee Roasters who launched their coffee kombucha at the recent tee-total Mindful Drinking Festival. Meanwhile, Tennent’s are finishing the revamped visitor centre at their Wellpark brewery ready for a December opening.


KITCHEN ENGINEERING Café Source has headed to Strathbungo for its third Glasgow restaurant. David Kirkwood finds a finely tuned operation

M any Southsiders will know the one-storey building between Nithsdale Road and Street, where the walls feel like they run at 30 degrees to each other, and light sears through into a delightfully relaxed space of the sort not commonly found. Most recently it was an Asian fusion restaurant, before that an upmarket bar, before that a neighbourhood brasserie. It’s not all plain sailing in Strathbungo.

Perhaps it’s with this chequered past that the new tenants have opted for the name Niven’s by Café Source. Back in the day it was Niven’s motor garage. And with Café Source operating two other restaurants in the city, making that association in name will help lend a sense of stability and know-how. Yet the food here aims higher than its siblings. And lands, too. Chicken thigh, delicately sliced, shaped and perched on pearl barley, is dei ned by its crisped- up exterior and a glorious whiff of garlicky trufl e. Ox cheek and haggis pie has glossy, satisfying pastry and meat of impressive depth and juiciness. It’s the sort of dish about which folk say ‘you can’t go wrong with that’ when actually you can, quite easily. But evening head chef Keir Murray prepares these crowd- pleasers with i nesse. And if his pretty arrangement of


mango, pickle and rhubarb ice is over-complicating gin-cured salmon a little, it is more than made up for by Cullen skink arancini, where an initial blast of smoky haddock, and fragrant lemon cutting through a dollop of mashed potato, go towards creating what is an outstanding dish. Informality is clearly the aim Niven’s works well as a bar, too (manager Conor McGeady runs the West End Beer Festival so he knows his hops). These days no neighbourhood loves its brunch like the Southside, so it’s worth watching out for daytime menu developments. Currently, there are variations on eggs and avocado, with charred chorizo, burnt aubergine and tofu scramble in the mix.

The likelihood is that as things bed in, the various menus will become more happily coexistent rather like the drinkers and the diners and the daytime and evening customers already seem to be. Niven’s is truly solid, in the truly modern sense.

+ A beautiful space in which to eat and drink - It’s a small space

72 Nithsdale Road, Southside, Glasgow G41 2AN, 0141 471 9666, fb.com/nivensstrathbungo Mon/Tue 10am–4pm; Wed–Sun 10am–4pm; 5–9pm (bar: Wed–Sun until midnight)

Average cost of two-course lunch/dinner: £13 / £16 64 THE LIST 1 Nov 2018–31 Jan 2019